India can't forgive Modi govt for 'anti-national' act: CPI(M) on demonetisation

Randeep Surjewala on demonetisation

One more demonetisation assumption falls apart as RBI says 99% of notes returned

With 99 per cent currency back in the system, the failure of demonetization hints on two things, either the black money held in cash was very low or the government failed to implement the demonetization efficiently and all the black money held in Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes laundered back to the banking system.

By rendering 500 and 1,000 rupees illegal in one stroke and imposing restrictions on how the money could be returned to lenders, Modi had been intending to make it hard for hoarders of undeclared wealth, or black money, to exchange their undeclared cash for legal tender.

The RBI's printing costs more than doubled, to Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 3,421 crore in the previous year.

Following the report, the Opposition quickly poun-ced on the data to attack the government, with former finance minister P. Chidambaram wondering if demonetisation was "a scheme created to convert black money into white". "The economists deserve a Nobel Prize", Chidambaram said sarcastically. In other worlds, black money is more likely to be found in the form of some other asset.

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While stating that Rs 15.28 lakh crore have already come back, the RBI said the government has allo-wed District Central Coo-perative Banks (DCCBs) to deposit the scrapped notes accepted by them from their customers during November 10-14. Between 80-110 people died as they had to stand in serpentine queues for hours on end to withdraw new notes that were in short supply for months after the demonetisation on November 8, 2016.

"Demonetisation was supposedly done to uncover several lakhs of crores of black money".

However, the Modi government changed its goal posts and said the demonetization was aimed to make India shift from cash economy to digital economy.

When asked about the government's demonetization, the former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had said: "My sense is the clever find ways around it". "India can never forgive Modi govt for this anti-national act", Yechury tweeted.

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"The real object of demonetisation was formalisation, attack on black money, less cash currency, bigger tax base, digitisation, a blow to terrorism", Jaitley said. "Lives & livelihoods lost, the Economy got a shock, workers lost their jobs".

According to the RBI annual report for the last fiscal, 89 million pieces of the banned Rs 1,000, totalling Rs 8,900 crore, had not been returned, out of 6,700 million such notes.

In a statement, the finance ministry said on Wednesday that the effective currency in circulation today is only 83 per cent with full remonetisation having taken place.

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